Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) has a vast history and has been practiced in China for thousands of years on both humans and animals. While it is ancient, TCVM continues to evolve and is still researched today. Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine is made of four different components or treatment modalities including acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, food therapy and Tui-na or Chinese medical massage.
In contrast to Western Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine looks at the patient as a whole with all of the systems working in balance. Qi is the life-force energy that is a part of every being which comes in two contrasting forms: Yin and Yang. Qi flows throughout the body, maintaining a balance of Yin and Yang. A disease occurs when the flow of Qi and the balance of Yin and Yang is disrupted. The goal of TCVM is to restore the flow of Qi which will restore the balance of Yin and Yang, This will enable the body to heal.
Acupuncture usually involves the insertion of fine needles into specific points on the pet’s body. The acupuncture needles are not painful as they are very small, almost as thin as a hair! The stimulation of the acupuncture points can help stimulate nerve function, help regulate gastrointestinal motility, can promote the tissue healing process and can reduce pain and inflammation. Electroacupuncture and a burning herb called Moxa can also be used to increase the effect of the treatment. Most cats and dogs accept acupuncture and some even look forward to their treatment and visibly relax during the acupuncture session. Initially, visits may be once a week. However, as the pet continues to respond to treatment, the appointments may become less frequent.
Chinese Herbal Medicine
Chinese Herbal Medicine uses a variety of different herbs to help restore harmony and balance in the body. It can be used in conjunction with acupuncture or utilized alone. The Chinese herbs can stimulate the release of toxins and waste as well as improve blood circulation and oxygenation.
According to the Chi Institute, “Tui-na can be thought of as corresponding to a combination of acupressure, conventional massage and chiropractic techniques”. Tui-na can soothe joints, strengthen the immune system and can promote circulation of Qi and blood. Tui-na can be used alone or with acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine.
Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine can be recommended for but not limited to the following conditions:
- Musculosketelal problems: muscle soreness, back pain, osteoarthritis and degenerative joint disease
- Neurological disorders: seizures, intervertebral disc disease (IVDD), nerve paralysis
- Gastrointestinal disorders: diarrhea, gastric ulcers, colic, vomiting, constipation
- Other chronic conditions such as: asthma, cough, uveitis, renal failure, chronic liver disease, geriatric weakness
- Quality of life, maintenance and enhancement and hospice care
If you feel that your pet would benefit from Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine, please contact the office at 716-695-7836. If you are not a client and would like to pursue TCVM, please have your veterinarian fill out the referral form and send the form with the records to firstname.lastname@example.org
*Information from Chi Institute of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine